The kids and I had so much fun celebrating my birthday by spreading random acts of kindness around town. I want to share, not to be boastful, but to inspire you and your family to have a RAOK day yourselves. It was so amazing to see my kids get excited about each act and discuss how helping others makes us feel. I ended the day with such a full heart.
The first step was to gather supplies. If I was a better planner, I would have done this on a separate day. We went to the dollar store to purchase items to put into bags that we would hand out to people we came across as we went around town. We found snacks, hygiene products, cooling towels, handkerchiefs, chapstick, water, socks, and many more useful items to stuff the bag full. We also included a note of encouragement.
I found printable RAOK cards by searching Pinterest. There are so many cute designs out there. I loved THIS owl one that It’s Hue I Love used on her birthday kindness day!
While you’re at the dollar store this is a great time to sneak a few dollar bills with notes attached around the store. How fun for someone to find them and get an item for free, especially in the toy section!
We assembled the bags when we got back to the car and headed out to deliver them. The kids were cracking me up as they said “give one to him” and pointed at anyone walking on the sidewalk with a beard. My teenage son explained to the youngest that everyone with a beard is not homeless. I was dying. He decided on the rule, “let’s just stick to people with signs.” That worked well. We saw a man at a stoplight and quickly turned around to get in position to hand him a bag. He was very grateful and the kids were thrilled too. “Let’s find MORE people” my daughter yelled.
We took our lunch to the park and left books with notes on the benches and tables. I saw suggestion of handing out popsicles or candy, but my kids agreed that I would not let them take that from a stranger so it was better to stick with non-food items.
My car was so dirty, and the kids love going through the largest automatic carwash in Western Colorado, so we headed there next. After paying for my wash I asked the attendant if I could pay for the next car to pull up behind me in the line. She looked bewildered. This must not happen often. “Okay?!” She ran my card and handed it back still looking confused. The kids loved watching as a car pulled up and knowing they were the recipient of our gift.
We came across another man sitting on the sidewalk with a sign asking for prayers. We pulled over and extended the bag out to him and he jumped up in excitement. “Oh, I love these goodie bags you guys put together.” Glad to know others are doing the same around town! He said he especially appreciated a cold bottle of water.
We put scratch lottery tickets on gas pumps with notes attached. Hopefully someone got a free tank of gas, or more!
We went by a park where I knew there would be more people in need. A man was sitting at a stop sign with a sign and we pulled up to hand him a bag. He was very appreciative and the kids watched as he looked through the contents as we drove away. They thought of more items next time, like sunscreen since one of the men was clearly sunburned. It was great to hear them really putting thought into it.
We found Redbox machines and taped popcorn with notes for the next visitors.
We ended with my favorite birthday drink at Starbucks, a reward I get on my account each year. I again asked to pay for the person behind me, and the kids all turned around to see who was on the receiving end. It was a hotel shuttle van and the kids thought the driver was well deserving after driving people around on a hot day.
It was an amazing birthday and a tradition I think we will continue in years to come!
You don’t have to make it a whole day, but sharing even one random act of kindness with someone will surely make you want to do more.
The kindness came back around to me that evening when I found out my boys had snuck through the checkout at the dollar store that morning, purchasing gifts for me with their money. They presented me with this mug filled with chocolate and some cool shades. They even made a homemade card. It brought me to tears, such sweet kids!
Have you had a random act of kindness day with your family before? What are some of your favorite RAOK to share?